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THE AORANGI.

UNION COMPANY'S NEW LINER

DEVELOPMENT OF THE OIL

ENGINE

LAUNCHING CEREMONY AT

GOVAN

LONDON, June 19. Everything weut off according to programme at the launching of the Aorangi this week. The vessel answered readily to the machinery which started her down the incline, and she took the water gracefully. Mrs Charles HoJdsworth performed the naming ceremony, and a large number of visitors were present at Govan, near Glasgow, as the guests of the Fairfield Shipbuilding Company. Tho Aorangi, which was laid down for the Union Steam Ship Company by the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in 1922, will be the largest, most powerful, and fastest ocean-going vessel yet built for propulsion by internal combustion engines. She is the first vessel to be fitted with quadruple screw Sulzer engines, and while the complete installation is the largest yet constructed the power on each of the four shafts is greater than that which has up till now been developed on a single shaft in any vessel. The vessel is 600 ft in length, 72ft in beam, 46ft, Gin in depth to the lowestweather'deck, and of about 23,000 tons displacement. She will have accommodation for 440 first-class, 300 secondclass, and 230 third-class passengers, and .will carry officers and crew numbering 230, despite the elimination of practically all firemen and trimmer rating. Practically no expense has been spared in the design and furnishings of the first-class public rooms. The dining saloon will be a spacious apartment designed after the style of the Louis XVI period, with carefully arranged panelling painted in varying shades of trianon grey, the well opening above being surrounded by a fine gilded wrought-iron balustrade and large decorated tapestry panel. The first-ela3s lounge hall, 64ft by 43ft 6in, will be in the Georgian style of decoration, in varying shades of green and gilded relief; the smoke, room in the Jacobean style, with a central well skylight, with boldly carved roof trusses and heraldic shields; there will be two verandah cafes open to the principal promenade deck, a music room in the Louis XVI. style, an auxiliary dining room for private parties, a. large nursery for children, a writing room, a ladies' room, and a gymnasium. There will also be eight special cabins de luxe, with bathrooms attached, on the principal promenade deck, and furnished in different styles. The second-class public rooms include dining saloon, smoking room, lounge, and ladies' room, while the third-class consist of dining saloon, smoking room and lounge. The propelling machinery consists of four sets of Fairfield-Sulzer six-cylinder engines aggregating about 13,000 i.h.p., driving quadruple screws, and designed to give the vessel a service speed of about 18 knots. The bunkers will carry sufficient fuel oil for the whole of the round voyage from Vancouver to Sydney and back—a total distance of 15,000* nautical miles, or about as far as five trips across the Atlantic.

After the launching ceremony . a luncheon was held, when Sir Alexander M. Kennedy (chairman of the Fairfield Company) presided. The guests included Sir James Mills, K.C.M.G., Mr Charles Holdsworth and Mrs Holdsworth, Mr and Mrs J. Porsbery Mills Mr and the Hon. Mrs Godfrey Holdsworth. The Fairfield Company was represented by Sir Alexauder 'l. Kennedy (chairman) and Lady Kennedy Rear-Admiral Sir Douglas' Brownrigg Bt. (director); Mr W. Orr Workman (director) and Ur& Workman:' Mr 11. Traill (director) and Mrs Traill; Mr G. Strachan (director) and Mrs Strachan; Mr A. J. Hendin (director) I and Mrs Hendin; Mr T. A. Greer (secretary) and Mrs Greer. A large num-i ber of Glasgow residents and dis-1 tinguished people in the engineering world (inehiding Mr Robert Sulzer and Mr H. Wolfer Sulzer) were also present.

THE OLD AORANGI. In proposing the toast of '< Success to the Aorangi and her Owners," Sir Alexander Kennedy said that they had witnessed not only the launch 'of a large quadruple screw mail and passenger vessel which, when completed would rank as one of the best ships ever turned out from any shipyard, but of the first high-class ocean-going' passenger liner to be propelled by internal combustion engines. Fairfield throughout a long and interesting career had been noted for pioneer work, especially in marine engineering. It was due to the inventive genius of John Elder— whose name would always be remembered in connection with their establishment—that the compound engine, the triple expansion engine, and the quadruple expansion engine were in turn first successfully applied to steamships. In the development of the ocean-going liner Fairfield had always been well ahead of the times, and 'it was in keeping with its great traditions that the construction of the first mail and passenger liner to be fitted with Diesel machinery should be undertaken by that establishment. The Aorangi bore the Maori name of Mount Cook—a name very appropriate, for just as Mount Cook was the highest and grandest mountain in New Zealand possessing outstanding features 'so the Aorangi was the largest, the moat beautiful, and, with her new system of propulsion, the most remarkable vessel m the fleet of the Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand. The name recalled a steamer built at Fairfield 21 years ago. The old Aorangi, of 1883 was ono of five vessels all built therewith which the New Zealand Shipping Company—a company distinct from the Lmon Steam Ship Company, and of later origin—commenced business. In after years this vessel came into the possession of the Union Company and ultimately was sacrificed for the Empire's good when sunk at Scapa Flow during the war to block one of the entrances to that important naval base While the Aorangi of 1883 was a large and fast vessel for her day, the new Aorangi helped them to visualise the advance which had taken place in mival architecture and marine engineering since that time. The new vessel was 200 ft longer, 26ft wider, and 13ft deeper than the old ship. She carried ?S«n« 70° more Passc?ngers, measured .1.^,000 more gross tons, and was fitted with Diesel machinery as compared with compound-steam eugines.

A FIRST-CLASS LINEK

The description of the Aorangi of today might be briefly summarised by the term "a first-class liner." In the lay-out of her public rooms and private apartments, in their varied schemes of decoration, in the provision made for the safety, convenience, comfort, and

general well-being of their occupants, the Aorangi 'was about as perfect as modern enterprise, experience, and skill can make an ocean liner. She was as perfect an example of naval architecture and as carefully suited for her particular function as "any of the great leviathans now afloat. The type of propelling machinery was selected after much thought and careful investigation. Practically every type of internal combustion engine was* considered, and in the end it was decided that the Sulzer engine was the best suited to the particular requirements of the class of vessel which the owners had in view. It was an interesting coincidence that the Aorangi would be handed over to the owners on the eve of the jubilee of their company. The company was inaugurated in 1875 with a feAv' small vessels of a total gross tonnage of 4000. With the delivery of the Aorangi they would have a. fleet of 75 vessels, aggregating 280.000 gross tons. These figures afforded striking evidence of the growth of the company and reflected the highest credit on those responsible for it's administration.

UNION STEAM SHIP COMPANY,

The Union Steam Ship Company was one of the most progressive of shipping concerns, and that enterprising spirit which caused the directors to be among the first to adopt triple expansion engines, water tube boilers, combination of reciprocating and turbines, steam turbines, geared turbines, and oil-fuelled steamships had once more been shown by them in being the first shipowners to adopt internal combustion engines for the propulsion of that the latest and largest addition to their fleet. He felt sure that the success which had attended their previous ventures would be continued in that new departure. In addition to the coasting trade in New Zealand and the trade between New Zealand and Australia, the company carried on a trade with the South Sea Islands, and also with ports in the East and with the United Kingdom; but their most important service was the mail and passenger line between Australasia and Canada, and it was in this last service that the Aorangi would be engaged. From the inception of the company 50 years ago up to 1913 the active control was in the hands of Sir James Mills, who was so well known and so highly esteemed throughout the shipping world. In 1913 Sir James, who continued his connection as chairman of the company, relinquished the position of managing director to Mr Charles floldsworth. Mr Holdsworth had previously been associated with Sir James in the management, and since 1913 he had conducted its affairs with conspicuous energy and ability. It was largely owing to his courage and confidence in the new venture that the Union Company had the distinction of being the first to adopt the Diesel engine in first-class passenger liners as the sole means of pro pulsion l

THE INDUSTRIAL OUTLOOK. Shipping had been seriously affected during the last few years by the longcontinued depression in world trade and shipowners had been confronted with difficulties not hitherto experienced. There was no inducement, from the immediate trading point of view, to place orders for new ships, and few owners cared to risk- the future. The Union Company, however, took that risk. With wonderful foresight, which in their case had become proverbial the company decided -to build at a time when the future looked very black indeed, but appearances now seemed to indicate that they acted rightly. Shipbuilding had also been passing "through the leanest time in its history, a time of considerable loss to the 'employer and of hardship to many of the workers. Unfortunately, depressed times in industry were too often likewise troublous times, and during the past year their business difficulties had been very seriously added to by industrial strife. H e ventured to hope that the awards of the Industrial Court during the past ten days would mark a period to these troubles, and that it would bft possible for them to settle down to peace and concord. The wage advances which thje Court had awarded were a most serious burden to add to their costs at a time when there was perhaps some reason to hope that prospects were brightening, but they might perhaps serve as a reminder to shipowner that shipbuilding prices had reached bedrock. Even the long-suffering shipbuilder could not be.expected to go on incurring the losses he had been' sustaining in an effort to revive the industry. Shipbuilders would have been amply justified, on the merits of the wage question, not only in refusing an advance in wages, but even in refusing to run the risk of arbitration about if But they took the latter risk, in agreement with the trade unions, and there rested upon all engaged in shipbuilding a serious responsibility to find a basis for mutual co-operation .-:ad joint endeavour. That basis was to be found according to the Court's award, in n wage 7s per week higher than the present rates. The men could not at such a time get a. Wage advance and also indulge in the luxury of further industrial troubles, but if the industry could get v period of stability, peace, and mutual arrangements the in«iience of the wage advance could to some extent be lessened.

EDUCATION AND LABOUR. There were apparently irfiuenco.s at work in industry to-day which made for perpetual strife, but he believed that the average worker was beginning to realise that without settled conditions recovery in trade was made almost impossible. One could not help sympathising with the genuine aspirations of Labour to improve the standard of living, but such an aspiration could only be realised by hnrd. work and by re-es-tablishing prosperity In trade. 'An industry that was not prosperous eonld not create or maintain standards of liv ing-merely because they were desirable. This was the lesson which there was reason to hope had. as far as shipbuilding was concerned, been realised, and if both employers and workmen could settle down to a serious and strenuous effort to rebuild prosperity there was every ground for expecting'better thnoa for both. The development of motorpower, as exemplified in the vessel launched that day, was full of promise for the future. Much of the tonnage which was at present laid idle >vould have little or no chance of holding its place in shipping with modern and up-to-date ship*, and it was not unreasonable to suippoHO that progressive shipowners would feel it desirable to equip themselves with modern tonnage. The hard times through which shipbuilders had passed had been most- trying, and they had exhausted the amount of sacrifice which they could make in the general interest. They certainly could not. be accused of having been disregardful of their own customers' needs and they were entitled to expect that shipowners would now take a more hopeful view of the future, and make ready to re-enter world markets as soon as opportunity offered STRIKES AND LOCK-OUTS.

Sir James Mills and Mr Charles Holdsworth replied. Mr Holdsworth

said it was to be hoped that the country as a whole would realise that an industry could never give the best results to employees as well as to employers unless the strike and lock-out were avoided. In New Zealand and in Australia they were still experimenting With Conciliation and Arbitration Acts, with very little real success, and before the adoption of such Acts were considered in this country he would suggest thatj employers and workers thould make full investigation of the working of such legislation at the Antipodes. Afterwards Sir A. Kennedy and Sir J, Mills presented Mrs Charles Holdsworth with a diamond spray and a diamond brooch respectively as souvenirs of the occasion. Mr Holdsworth replied, and proposed "The Fairfield' Company," to whi<«h Mr Robert Traill replied. Sir Hugh Reid proposed "The City of Glasgow," to which the Lord Provost replied. Mr Robert Sulzer, head of Messrs Sulzer Brothers, of Winterthur, Switzerland, also spoke, and the toast list concluded with "The Chairman," proposed by Sir James Mills.

PIONEERS OF THE CLYDE. In a leading article on the subject of the Clyde as a progressive shipbuilding centre, The Glasgow Herald refers to the new liner. "The launch at Govau of the motor liner Aorangi is an event of more .than ordinary interest, for it serves to remind not only Glasgow but. the whole world that Clyde shipbuilders and marine engineers are still amongst the pioneres of ocean navigation. This new Bhip for the Union Company of New Zealand is not, of course, the first Dieael-engined passenger vessel to be built on the Clyde, but she is the first motor ship of'the pure c greyhound' breed to be produced on the premier shipbuilding river, and appropriately enough she is in direct line of descent—so as to say —from the earliest Fairfield famous Atlantic liners, Arizona and Alaska. Throughout the development of the steam , engine—from the compound to the quadruple reciprocating engine, and from the direct driving to the geared turbines—Fairfield has played a notable part, and none of its rivals or elsewhere will, we are sure, grudge it the honour of producing the first 23,000-ton 16,000 h.p. quadruplescrew ocean-going motor liner."

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/HNS19240809.2.82

Bibliographic details

THE AORANGI., Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume XLVIII, Issue XLVIII, 9 August 1924, Incorrect date

Word Count
2,573

THE AORANGI. Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume XLVIII, Issue XLVIII, 9 August 1924, Incorrect date

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